Sonic State Studio / Recorders / ALESIS ADAT HD24™Hard Disk Recorder

Average rating: 8.0/10 out of 10

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steve a Professional user from Australia writes:
I've been using the HD24 for some months now. It is used by professionals and rank-amateurs at the same time, in a smoking, drinking, eating situation (co-operative studio scenario), in a studio with leaky rooves (read humidity levels that go up and down). As a replacement for a 24 track machine, and with the bonus of simple editing procedures thrown in, its fantastic, and faultless. It also sounds great; the internal convertors are not 'Apogees', but do seem musical and natural, unlike the old ADAT ones.

Issues? Alesis say the unit works with any IDE drive, the faster the better. (CRAP). Now, what looks like a bonus (the storage is available at the corner shop, unlike SVHS tapes, and is cheaper, (and does the job of) three original ADAT tapes), is not as easy as it sounds. Our machine may need a software update, but it spits out more drives than it swallows. The faults include error messages that Alesis don't even recognise/remember programming (!), refusal to format, and refusal to even see the drive as being there.

Before you point to the environment as a cause of faults, I have repeatedly swapped the good and bad drives in the same ambient conditions, proving it can't be filthy or corrupted drive connectors. You can forget faulty 'batches', too, since I tried the same model drives, of various sizes, from several shops in different months, all marked with different batch numbers. Phew...

Drives that have worked; Fujitsu 5400 20gb (drive supplied with the unit), Western digital 5400 40gb, Quantum 7200 40gb.

Drives rejected, either immediately or after some hours of use (most common message 'drive underflow'); Seagate 7200/5400/any size (it REALLY doesn't like these), Western dig 7200, Maxtor 7200 20gb/40gb.

Shame. Anyway, I really like it otherwise. Once I found drives that worked, it is truly reliable and useable, and you really gotta need the plugins and editing in a DAW to want any more than this. The only other thing that ticks me off is the loss of half the tracks for 96khz recording. I would happily have lost half the time instead, but I know it had more to do with the aging lightpipe interface than anything else Additional note; don't bother buying caddies from Alesis - the local shop will sell you removeable drive assemblies whose drawers are measurably the same as the Alesis ones (again, the drive faults were noted in both genuine and after market caddies). Discard or use the mount from the kit elsewhere (in ya PC, of course)

Rating: 8 out of 10 posted Sunday, 07-Jul-02 at 2:23
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